Just a quick note of thanks to New York Times writer Jane E. Brody for today’s article in support of T’ai chi; and to artist Gracia Lam for this lovely image of T’ai chi practitioners lining up behind a crane, symbol of longevity. As many of the commentators of the on-line NYT forum have noted, Jane E. Brody underestimates the amount of effort it takes to practice T’ai chi correctly, that is, slowly and with great precision of movement. If done correctly, T’ai chi will certainly make you break out in a sweat! But it is gratifying to see this influential writer in the Science section take a break from Western medicine and its reliance on pharmaceuticals for a change, and give Asian practices some attention.
I am now entering my third month as a T’ai chi student at the Seattle Kung Fu Club, and I feel incredibly lucky to have found this place and the teachers who work there. The family atmosphere and reverence we all feel for Sifu John Leong make the Seattle Kung Fu Club a unique atmosphere to practice this ancient life-giving art form. But I will always hold a warm spot in my heart for Master Peng also; he is the one who introduced me to T’ai chi at Notre Dame during his sabbatical there in 2016-17.
Having a teacher is crucial. For those of you who lack a teacher nearby, you could start by following the nine videos of our classes with Master Peng which begin here, and reading some of the books I’ve listed on this blog’s bibliography (Ralston’s Principles of Effortless Power, for starters). Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?! Or reinvent yourself after 50?! Be brave folks, and dare to feel good. What do you have to lose?